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Happily Ever After: The Art of Storytelling in Wedding Imagery

Weddings and movies have much in common. In the same way that a film delivers a narrative with a beginning, middle, some tears, some cheers, and an ending, wedding photographs tell and celebrate the story of bride and groom. Couples are looking to document their special day and share it with their friends and families for years to come, and it’s the privileged responsibility of the wedding photographer to immortalize the bride and groom’s romance.

We spoke with Jen Huang and Alina Schessler, wedding photographers and Adobe Stock Premium contributors, about how they incorporate storytelling into their work, and their tips for creating lasting memories for the couples on their special day.

Understand Your Client.

Jen began her career with film photography. Though she’s sought out for her signature dream-like images, each couple walks away with a distinct and unique set of images. As a part of the preparation, Jen gets a feel for the couple’s personality. Whether you’re working with an energetic bride with a flair for drama, or a quiet bride who is a little shy, you want to mold their poses and settings to fit their individual personalities.Set Up the Scene.

Any nervousness or stiffness will come through in the shot, so in order to achieve natural images, the couple has to be comfortable. Not everyone loves being in front of the camera, so Alina has a little trick to make the couple feel at ease: “Sometimes I ask the couple to tell jokes, or to whisper to each other what they like most about the other person, so they smile or laugh genuinely.” This authenticity makes for beautiful, emotional, and true portrayal of the couple in love.Jen takes a cinematic approach to directing her clients. For example, rather them asking the couple to kiss each other, she instead asks them to walk, then choose a moment on their own to embrace. “This way, I’m creating a ‘perfect’ scene for a candid kiss, and every one of my couples can have classic a kissing photo that is all their own,” says Jen.Control What You Can.

Of course it’s impossible to control every moment of the wedding, but there are certain elements you can maneuver to ensure you get the right shot. Jen styles, directs, and controls the lights, backdrop, and props as much as possible, and allows candid moments to happen within those controlled environments. “When I arrive at a bride’s getting ready room,” Jen shares, “I ‘redecorate’ and place the bride and her maids in a clean, open, light filled space. They can continue having hair and makeup done, getting dressed and helping each other, but the scene looks finished and polished.”

In this shot of the bride getting ready for the ceremony, Jen set up her model in front of the antique mirror and waited for natural moments to emerge. When the bride lifted her hands to check her make up, Jen was able to capture the delicate motion on camera.Pay Attention to Details.   

Environment plays a critical role in setting the mood and tone of the wedding. Couples spend months planning their nuptials, getting the details just so. Photograph the venue and the surroundings, including flowers, décor, furniture, and everything in between, as each wedding will have distinctive details. Snapshots of moments as the day unfolds, like the setting of the table or tweaking of the floral arrangements, help add descriptive elements to tell the story of the wedding.Customize Classic Moments.

Oftentimes the photographs the client asks for end up being a common “wedding” shot. A bride’s dress hanging in the in the window is a popular image, but as Jen explains, the reason people love it so much is because it shows the moments leading up to the ceremony. It captures the feeling of anticipation and excitement, a feeling we can all relate to. But even classic shots can be tailored to the bride and groom with the right lighting and props.

Know When to Blend in.

When it comes to photographing ambiance and guests, it can be helpful to blend in with the crowd. Alina finds that people can often tense up when they see that she is the designated photographer, which can lead to posed and stiff shots. For that reason, sometimes she chooses to work with smaller cameras: “People aren’t looking at me all the time thinking that I’m the photographer, so they act more naturally, and I can get more natural photos.”

Submitting Wedding Images to Stock.

When submitting wedding photographs to sell on your stock portfolio, be sure to get a release for any recognizable people or places. You can find legal guidelines on our HelpX page, and now you can send model and property releases directly from the Contributor Portal thanks to the Adobe Sign integration.

Keywording is critical in helping buyers find your images in the image bank. Make sure your keywording is relevant, accurate, and prioritized in order of importance. In addition to the subject matter in your submissions, also think about conceptual terms like love, romance, relationship, celebration, and so on. If you need some pointers, try out our auto-keywording tool on the Contributor Portal.See more dreamy and romantic images of weddings and starry-eyed couples in Jen and Alina’s Stock portfolios.

Header image by Alina Schessler.

Now taking orders for Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack

Now taking orders for Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack We are now taking orders for Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack, offering customers a powerful cloud-ready solution that gives them full control over how they manage data, governance, security and performance. We combined Microsoft’s robust Azure cloud platform with Cisco’s UCS server […]

CSO Women’s Professional Development Day: Celebrating 5 Years!

We recently celebrated our 5th Annual Women’s Professional Development Day on Thursday, August 31st, sponsored by Cisco’s Corporate Strategy Office (CSO). Our theme for this year’s event was Making Empowerment Happen. The invite-only event drew over 600 internal and external attendees, including members of the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network and employees from over 50 customers […]

Designs We Love, September Edition

It’s September, and for many, this is the time to get back to work or back to school in a big way. So as you spring back into action, check out these website and app designs we love, hand-picked by top UX designers from across the world.

Mia Chuang, User Experience Director at Moving Brands

Pick: Calm

As a user, I feel Calm has incorporated many aspects of good sensory design from its proposition and offering through to microinteractions. Over the last two years, I have watched the service grow beyond delivering audio-meditation guides and calming sounds.

Its style of recorded meditation, coupled with the calming tone of voice of each narrator is particularly impactful from a user perspective. It is a prime example of a site where its art direction and identity aptly complements its service offering–the crisp choice of photography, moving image, color, and rhythmic movement sets an expectation that a meditative experience with Calm brings clarity and brightness.

Calm’s microinteractions are delightful. A good example is its “Breathe” feature where an expanding and contracting circle guides the user in inhaling and exhaling. The movement and changing color mimics how a user would fill and empty their lungs, which I feel is extremely effective in conveying an imaginary, solitary space. It’s a lovely, simple piece of microinteraction design.

I’m an avid user of the Sleep experience too, where the app delivers calming sleep stories to adults and children. I find the concept both simple and ingenious as it does the job for a parent spending time with their children before putting them to bed.

Michéle (Mikele) De Sousa, Product Designer and Design Lead at Freethinking Business Consultants

Pick: GetPocket

In the rat race of life, it often becomes difficult to keep up with the latest news and trends. But I’m the kinda guy that likes to be kept in the loop, so I was looking to find an app that would help me stay on top of my game and keep me updated about what’s going on in the world, and then I found it.

GetPocket is an online application that allows you to save media quickly, and it also recommends the best, most interesting stories on the internet (what’s not to like about that). While the UI is not strikingly dynamic or creative, its simplicity makes it super easy to view, tag, catalog, share, and archive media.

Scalability is excellent, as I can access the service from web or mobile. With a simple tap or click, I can save an article or video. There is also a cool social aspect that allows you to follow recommended people, people in your contact list, and social media profiles. This enables you to see media that your friends are recommending or reading.

The accessibility features are great and include a dark theme feature for easier reading, adjusting font size, personalizing gestures for readability, and the Listen feature which is my favorite. When I am on my way home from a day in the office I love listening to the articles I saved throughout the day. My phone connects to my hands-free system, and I simply tap the article I would like to hear.

Brooke Francesi, Senior Experience Design Lead at Adobe

Pick: Waze

One of my favorite apps is Waze, and not just because it re-routes me around highly-trafficked, congested areas. The makers behind Waze started with a great idea, gamifying navigating from place to place, but what happened was even better. The Waze team took something that is pretty painful (if we’re being honest) and turned it into an experience that isn’t and is sometimes even fun. What I love:

  • Waze keeps you moving. The worst part about being stuck in traffic is not moving. Anything is better than stop and go traffic.
  • Waze also helps you explore your city. Because of Waze, I’ve found myself in parts of San Francisco (and other cities) on routes that I could have never used and on streets that I would have never driven. It’s fun! I often find myself driving on side streets, small alleys, and on back roads to escape main arteries.
  • Waze integrates beautifully with other apps like Facebook to make a complete, seamless experience, much like Spotify’s integration with Runkeeper. This one is just smart. Mix that with great new features like Waze Carpool (it’s like Lyft or Uber but rather than pay a fare, you help a brother or sister out by helping cover the cost of gas) and you’ve got one great app.

Tim Hykes, UX Designer at Wells Fargo Advisors

Pick: YouTube

As a UX Designer, I’m glad to share why I love the new YouTube’s interface and its usability.

  • Usability As a user of YouTube, it’s tough for me to give you an unbiased critique of its usability but there is one thing I can talk about that frustrated me. I had the hardest time trying to find the smallest things, and my question is ‘did they fix this?’ Uploading videos is still a simple drag and drop. We got a cleaner menu which is a plus, and they took out the different images for each account and added a switch accounts selection. This is really a vast improvement from the old YouTube.
  • The Design -Hello flat design. It took YouTube some years to get here, but they finally made it to the flat design movement. No more harsh shadows or bulky buttons. They’ve even updated link colors and button colors. The red buttons have some pink in them. I know we all noticed the new Youtube typography. They even updated the typography through the whole site, with the addition of light horizontal rules and whitespace. The most impressive thing was making the videos cleaner–they took away that harsh shadow at the bottom of the videos. Overall the design is refreshing and light.
  • Happy Users – Are the users happy? Well, we all need to come down off the launch to really get a feel for what they’ve done. It’s new and it looks super clean. The new menu structure is better. I can navigate my way around pretty easily and right now I’m pleased. Time will tell as we move forward if this will remain something I like to refer to as good UX.

What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments!

Cisco Tetration and ACI debut at Splunk 2017 conference

Come September, it is tech. events galore for us here at Insieme Business Unit, Cisco. It is a busy week for us starting Sept 25, with action unlimited at Splunk Conference 2017 (Washington DC). First, let us pick up action at Splunk 2017 conference, where Cisco is a Peta sponsor. Riding on the success of […]

Samsung Electronics Rises to No. 6 in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2017

Samsung Electronics announced today that it has been ranked No.6 on Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands 2017” list with a brand value of $56.2 billion – one position up and a 9 percent increase from last year.

 

As it has made continual strides as a global company, Samsung has ranked as one of the top 10 brands on the Interbrand rankings from 2012 to 2017, demonstrating continual growth in brand value.

 

This year’s achievement is particularly meaningful given some of the challenges that Samsung has faced, and overcome, in the past year. For example, Interbrand, in its evaluation, cited among various factors, Samsung’s exemplary, fast recovery from last year’s Galaxy Note7 crisis, the company’s successful launches of flagship products, and its continued stellar financial performance.

 

In particular, Samsung’s mobile business reconfirmed its market leadership through the successful launch of the Galaxy S8. Samsung’s memory division also performed strongly, with its record profits contributing to the rise in brand value. Samsung’s digital appliances business introduced innovative and award-winning new products, developed from deep consumer insights, like the Family Hub refrigerator and AddWash washing machine. Samsung’s visual display division also broke new ground in the TV market with the new QLED TV as well as The Frame, a new lifestyle TV for the home.

 

“Our efforts to make meaningful progress to improve people’s lives contributed to the rise in brand value,” said YH Lee, CMO of Samsung Electronics. “Our ranking this year is a positive sign that demonstrates our efforts to regain trust have resonated with global consumers.”

 

This year’s Interbrand’s Best Global Brands will be announced at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 27.

 

 

Samsung’s Growth in Brand Value

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Brand Value
(USD; in millions)
32,893 39,610 45,462 45,297 51,808 56,249
Brand Rank 9 8 7 7 7 6

Reality meets imagination at Microsoft Ignite

It’s fantastic to be in Orlando at Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Envision, with more than 25,000 customers and partners from around the world. The technologies we announced today give every organization new ways to grow their business, now and into the future. There is a lot to see, hear and experience at Microsoft Ignite, but here is my rundown of the top five announcements we made:

  1. Not-so-secret-ingredients: During his keynote, Satya showed how Microsoft is infusing AI and Mixed Reality into our products to help customers be the disruptors, not the disrupted. Just ask Ford or HP.
  2. All workers welcome: With Microsoft 365 for firstline workers and students, we’ve expanded our effort to change the culture of work. #WorkSmartTogether
  3. Bridge to the cloud: Azure Stack is now available through Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo for ready-made hybrid cloud. Oh, and bonus, we’re helping customers save some serious cabbage with Azure Cost Management services by Cloudyn.
  4. Finding insights in petabytes: The new release of the world’s most popular database, SQL Server 2017, and enhancements to Azure Machine Learning will foster a new generation of intelligent apps and AI models.
  5. Quantum quest: We’ve been working on quantum computing for 12 years. Now we’re giving developers a new programming language and tools to ask the big questions and get even bigger answers, from a billion parallel universes.

And while quantum theory and computing are based on imaginary numbers, there is nothing imaginary about all the advancements coming out of Microsoft Ignite. Go to microsoft.com/ignite to learn more.

The post Reality meets imagination at Microsoft Ignite appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Software Defined Networking and the Cisco and IBM Partnership

IT organizations are constantly looking for ways to streamline operations, take advantage of new capabilities, and adopt technologies that can reduce IT lead-time thus improving service to the business. Many  enterprises are adopting hybrid cloud and virtualization capabilities as a part of overall data center transformation. Increase utilization, Reduce costs, Automate  the data center.  These […]

More than just a jacket: Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket powered by Jacquard technology

Whether you're cycling to work or juggling a cup of coffee, it's often difficult to pull out your phone, unlock it and answer an incoming call, read a text or skip a music track.

To help you to control your digital life while navigating your real one, Google ATAP (Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group) developed Jacquard—a connected apparel platform that allows fashion designers and apparel manufacturers to integrate connectivity and interactivity into clothes. And the first product that incorporates Jacquard—the Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket—will go on sale Wednesday.

The first thing to know about the Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard is just that: it's a jacket. Like any regular denim jacket, you can wash it (just remove the snap tag), it's durable, designed to be comfortable for cycling and it’ll keep you warm on and off the bike. With Jacquard technology, you can perform common digital tasks—like starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages—by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve.

Jacquard1
Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google

The technology that makes this possible is embedded in the jacket. Gesture-sensing Jacquard Threads are woven into the cuff and wirelessly connected to your mobile phone using tiny electronics embedded inside the sleeve and a flexible snap tag. The snap tag also notifies you about incoming phone calls or text messages¹ with light and haptic feedback. The gestures on the jacket cuff are fully re-configurable: using the Jacquard app you can assign gestures to invoke different digital “abilities” that were designed specifically for an on-the-go lifestyle:

  • Play or pause your music, skip to the next track, or ask what song is playing².

  • Get your next direction, ETA, or the current time.

  • Receive updates on incoming call or texts with a subtle LED light and a vibration on your sleeve, and have the text message read to you.

Jacquard2
Configure the gesture by tapping it, select an ability from the carousel, and assign the ability to a gesture by dragging and dropping.

The Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google is available for purchase Wednesday in select shops. Next week, it will be available in the US online at www.levi.com and at select Levi’s stores.

We’re excited for Jacquard to be out in the world, and look forward to seeing how connectivity and interactivity can dress up the rest of your closet.


1. For Android, you need a supported phone running Android 6.0.1 or newer. To check if your Android phone is supported go to jacquard.com/levi/specs. For iOS, you need an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 10 or newer. Features vary between iOS and Android. Requires a Google account, an internet connection, and a cellular plan for calls and texts. Fees may apply.

2.  Not compatible with some music services. Go to g.co/jacquard/music for info. Subscriptions and fees may apply.

Samsung Expands FD-SOI Process Technology Leadership and its Design Ecosystem Readiness

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced it has expanded its differentiated FD-SOI process technology leadership by offering derivatives that include RF and eMRAM. Samsung already established a full set of FD-SOI design enablement solutions with key ecosystem partners for the 28-nanometer (nm) FD-SOI (28FDS) process technology. By accomplishing industry first eMRAM testchip tape-out milestone on 28FDS process technology, Samsung Foundry has demonstrated its 28FDS readiness with eMRAM technology leadership with the long commitment and expertise of Samsung’s semiconductor technology R&D capability.

 

“Samsung started mass production of its 28FDS process technology last year and reached the desired process maturity earlier than originally scheduled,” said Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “So far we have taped out more than 40 products based on the FD-SOI process for various customers. With the addition of RF and eMRAM on 28FDS and 18FDS technologies, we expect an increasing number of product engagements.”

 

Samsung eMRAM is the newest addition to the family of embedded non-volatile memories and it offers unprecedented speed, power and endurance advantages.

 

“By adding only three layers in the back-end of the process, we can simply integrate the new eMRAM cells into the existing baseline FD-SOI process,” said Gitae Jeong, Senior Vice President of the Advanced Technology Development Team at Samsung Electronics. “Combined with Samsung’s memory technology leadership and its differentiated FD-SOI technology, we finally succeeded in incorporating eMRAM into various commercial applications”

 

“Samsung is working with NXP on a test chip to deliver eMRAM macro capability which is optimized for embedded processor integration and manufacturing.” said Ron Martino, VP and GM for NXP’s iMX Applications Processor product line. “This test chip is complete and will produce results in the 4th quarter. This work will further enable the vision of integrating diverse SOC components on a single SOC in a cost effective manner.”

 

Samsung has completed its full set of 28FDS technology eco-system solutions with various eco- system partners including Cadence and Synopsys. Customers can access Samsung certified 28FDS reference flows from Cadence and Synopsys along with application-specific IP offerings.

 

“Through our collaboration with Samsung, our mutual customers can access the 28FDS certified, comprehensive Cadence RTL-to-GDS reference flow,” said KT Moore, vice president, product management in the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. “The Cadence tools integrate the back-biasing and multi-bit flip-flop design optimization features included with the Samsung 28FDS process technology, enabling designers to quickly and easily develop high-quality SoCs with optimal power and performance.”

 

“Early joint collaboration on PDKs, reference flows and IP is a hallmark of the Samsung/Synopsys relationship,” said Michael Jackson, corporate vice president of marketing and business development for the Design Group at Synopsys. “For Samsung’s 28FDS, our mutual customers can design with confidence, knowing that it has been fully certified for Synopsys’ Design Platform and Design Ware® IP.

 

Details on the recent updates to Samsung Foundry’s cutting-edge process technology including FD-SOI technology roadmap and readiness will be presented at the Shanghai FD-SOI Forum on September 26th, 2017, by ES Jung, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics.

7 Reasons to Zip Over to WebEx

Success depends on connections. But it’s not enough just to have the ability to connect. The right connections matter. So who do you trust for online meetings? Rely on secure, scalable meetings with Cisco WebEx -- the trusted industry leader in video and web conferencing.

The MolenGeek Initiative Presented as Best Practice Case Study of Public-Private Partnership to the UN General Assembly

The founders of the MolenGeek initiative, the Belgian government, and Samsung Electronics presented a support program for young entrepreneurs in the Molenbeek district in Belgium as a best practice case study in the contribution of a public-private partnership to achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

The larger MolenGeek initiative has been recognized as a model program that leverages digital technology to alleviate the social challenges of high youth unemployment due to a lack of skill or education opportunities. The initiative has brought about new dynamic and positive attention in Molenbeek, a neighborhood that has typically suffered from high youth unemployment rates of over 30 percent and was once tied to terrorism. Already 25 startups have been launched by young entrepreneurs through the program, and another 156 are on their way. Some 120 students have been trained and found a job through the coding school program, which provides intensive, full-time education for three months on skills that are in high demand like coding for Android platforms.

 

For its part, Samsung, in partnership with the Belgian government, contributes to the MolenGeek initiative, by providing aspiring young entrepreneurs with the space to launch their own innovative startups and access to professional training resources at the MolenGeek center which opened in January 2017. In addition to technical support through its products, Samsung employees actively participate in events such as a Hackathon and Internet of Things (IoT) Challenge to provide mentorship for future digital entrepreneurs.

 

 

The presentation by the founders of the MolenGeek initiative as well as Belgian government and Samsung officials came on the sidelines of this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at an event titled, Technology 4 SDG’s: Digital Innovation for Sustainable Societies, organized by the governments of Belgium and Uganda at UN headquarters in New York.

 

 

“The MolenGeek project is an ideal example of how Samsung’s global corporate citizenship goals of promoting education, employment and healthcare, can align with the UN’s SDGs, which includes quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and partnerships,” said Michiel Dijkman of Corporate Affairs at Samsung Electronics Benelux. “Digital innovation, fueled by public-private partnerships, can be an important aspect of creating a brighter future for youth and creating an inclusive society. In cooperation with model entrepreneurs, local and central governments, media and other corporations, Samsung will continue its ongoing work to empower young people and pave a brighter future for communities.”

 

The Technology 4 SDG’s event also consisted of an interactive debate, which discussed how to scale-up or replicate the best practices presented. The panel discussion, moderated by Henri Dommel, Director of the United Nations Capital Development Fund, included participants such as Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium; Vincent Bagiire, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT of Uganda; and Robert Kirkpatrick, Director UN Global Pulse; as well as Michiel Dijkman from Samsung Electronics.

Cisco and Splunk Demonstrate the Power of Integration

You already know that insights from data are the foundation for digital business. Much of this data comes directly from your data center, network and security infrastructures. But let’s face it, using custom-built or disparate tools to analyze each system is challenging at best. This is where Cisco and Splunk can help. Cisco and Splunk […]

Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops Scholarship: The Ins and Outs!

Cisco had developed a new certification in order to reduce the global cybersecurity skills gap that has been reported throughout various sources. This certification is called the CCNA Cyber Ops and it is along the lines of what a Security Analyst in a Security Operations Center (SOC) does. There are two exams associated with this […]

Andra Day sings “Strange Fruit” in support of Google.org grantee Equal Justice Initiative

Music has the power to ignite change—to encourage introspection and galvanize people.

Earlier this year Google.org grantee the Equal Justice Initiative launched the Lynching in America digital experience. This platform, built with support from Google, brings together the Equal Justice Initiative’s data and research on the 4,000+ victims of lynchings with the oral histories of families who still suffer the legacy of lynching today.

This week, Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day released a new cover of the anti-lynching protest song “Strange Fruit,” originally sung by Billie Holiday in 1939. Andra's cover—recorded to raise awareness for the Lynching in America project—encourages us to take an honest look at this painful period in American history.

Our struggle does not stop. It simply continues. Black history does not repeat itself. It evolves. Andra Day

Since EJI launched the Lynching in America platform earlier this summer, the oral histories and site content have been viewed more than 35 million times. We’re proud to help EJI make this data and research more broadly accessible, and to support their efforts to memorialize the more than 4,000 victims of lynching and racial terror.

Tomorrow, Andra will perform “Strange Fruit” at the Global Citizen Festival, the annual concert in Central Park promoting freedom and justice for all. Tune into the live stream to watch her performance and  join us in supporting EJI in their movement for truth and reconciliation in America.

Tackle football season with your Assistant by your side

Football season is officially underway and your Google Assistant is ready to help you keep up with your favorite teams. With your Assistant on your phone or Google Home, start with “Ok Google” and...

football
  1. Stock up on the essentials by asking your Assistant to “Add chips and dip to my shopping list”
  2. Ask your Assistant about the competition: “Who does [insert your 🏈 team] play on Sunday?”
  3. Prepare for the game: “What’s the weather in Chicago going to be like today?”
  4. Double check the game date: “When does [insert your 🏈 team] play again?” 
  5. Get to know your Assistant by asking “Who’s your favorite football team?”

Ready, set, hut.

[Photo] ONOS BUILD 2017 – Migration to an Open and Flexible Network

In partnership with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Samsung hosted ONOS BUILD 2017 at its R&D Campus in Seoul from September 20 to 22. Under the theme “Migrate to the Future!”, the second annual event united around 250 developers and contributors from around the world to share, plan and hack their way toward building next-generation software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions using the Open Network Operating System (ONOSTM).

 

Check out the highlights of the event in the photos below.

 

 

There are two principal objectives that Samsung Electronics is currently hoping to accomplish: establishing an open ecosystem with the aim of applying virtualization technologies to carrier-grade networks, and developing network slicing technology for 5G networks. To realize these goals, the company is working to accelerate innovation in the field by encouraging the sharing of knowledge among key figures in the open source community at events such as ONOS BUILD 2017.

 

 

At ONOS BUILD 2017, it was announced that ONOSTM is gaining recognition as being applicable for trial and service usage in telecommunications networks, and that it is solidifying its stance as a critical platform for service providers in network operation. It was also emphasized that community expansion is vital for sustainable growth and technical support.

 

 

Professor Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ONF and a leading scholar in the field of virtualization, gave the keynote speech. A key figure in the establishment of multiple open source communities such as ONOSTM and CORDTM, Parulkar has been influential in fostering the development of virtualization technologies such as NFV and SDN.

 

 

Sohyong Chong, Vice President of the Virtualization Platform Lab at Samsung Electronics, introduced the company’s virtualization solutions as well as their role in helping networks cope with increased data traffic, and achieving automation of network operation and service agility. He also discussed how these solutions have garnered much attention from telecommunication networks, and how their application scenarios relevant to networks are more diverse, thanks to the increasing number of options such as OpenStack and the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).

 

Chong went on to announce that Samsung will be providing Network as a Service (NaaS) as a software-based open platform, bringing together diverse analytics and automation tools. Through its commercial deployment of open source-based NFV/SDN solutions, he noted, Samsung is securing its position as a leader in the open source community such as ONOS and CORD.

 

 

Thomas Vachuska, Chief Architect at Open Networking Foundation, and Uyen Chau at ON.Lab, announced the ONOSTM roadmap, which is intended to provide information about what is being planned for upcoming ONOSTM releases and to offer guidance about how developers can help to deliver these items.

 

 

A panel made up of the ONOSTM Technical Steering Team (Sangho Shin, Jonathan Hart, Yuta Higuchi, Brian O’Connor and Thomas Vachuska) took questions from the audience and openly discussed various topics like future agendas, performance in the field and tips to build the community stronger.

 

 

Samsung showcased its 5G Network Slicing as well as its 3D SDN orchestrator which enables network operators to toggle in and out network elements, and analyze the root cause of technical problems via intuitive 3D graphical user interfaces (GUI).

 

 

A hackathon – an event where programmers collaboratively code in an extreme manner over a day – was another highlight of ONOS BUILD 2017. Teams of developers competed to create a ‘Tap feature’ which is critical to analyze and manage data traffic on a network using a virtualization solution. After two days of coding, the POSTECH team named the winner.

These Smart Appliances Will Change Your Life for the Better

Have you ever wondered what IQ level your home appliances have? It might be higher than you think. Home appliance products are becoming smarter by the day as they evolve to meet the needs of a wide range of users. It is worth paying attention to, then, Samsung Electronics’ intelligent premium home appliances that stand out among its product lineup. They are, indeed, the future of our home appliances that make life more convenient and exciting for our users.

 

 

Getting Smart around the Home

 

One of Samsung’s major smart products is the Family Hub 2.0 refrigerator, which launched earlier this year. It uses voice recognition to provide an intuitive way for users to not just connect with their kitchen, but also the world around them. Say, “Can you purchase cheese?” and the refrigerator asks you, “Which product? Please tell me the number.” as it shows an app screen that lets you order food directly from the screen. You can play music or find out what the weather is like as you communicate with the smart refrigerator. It even gives you ideas if you need recipe inspiration.

 

Next, there is QuickDrive, an intelligent washing machine that was showcased during IFA 2017. It includes an AI-powered laundry assistant called Q-rator, which suggests the best cycle for your laundry based on information you input. Tell it what type of garments you want to wash, how dirty they are and what color they are and it will do the rest. It also lets you set the time for when the loads will be done, meaning your washing will be ready at a time that’s convenient for you. Plus, the system monitors the machine remotely and alerts you if it’s having any issues.

 

Last but not least, there is POWERbot, Samsung’s smart robot vacuum cleaner that received a 2017 CES Innovation Award. It uses a full suite of sensors to map your space, remember where it’s cleaned, and detect and work around any obstacles in its way, while automatically adjusting its suction power on different surfaces.

 

Samsung, the Leading Player in the Smart Appliances Era 

The Family Hub sits at the core, serving as the nerve center of a broader connected ecosystem in the home. Each connected home appliance can be configured to reflect the unique preferences for every household. It is a true smart evolution that brings a meaningful experience to users. What’s more, Samsung’s hardware analyzes user information more effectively than ever, and that is what makes Samsung a company with true innovative competitiveness.

 

The company recently announced its plan to apply Samsung Connect to its various home appliances at IFA 2017. Samsung Connect is a connectivity platform capable of connecting and controlling IoT devices regardless of their operating system. When the smart functions of Samsung’s home appliances are connected through Samsung Connect, users will be able to enjoy a smart lifestyle.

 

As more and more intelligence is interwoven into new products and technology, Samsung Smart appliances will evolve IoT and deep learning technology, creating a great deal of synergy. It won’t be long until home appliance products use their IQ to provide users more convenience and more time to do the things they enjoy.

 

The High Five: Searching to help Mexico City and other top trends this week

Each week, we take a look at the most-searched trends (with help and data from the team at Google News Lab). Here are a few top trends from this week:

Mexico City earthquake

A fatal earthquake rocked Mexico City this week, and people turned to Google to find out how they can aid the recovery. Two of the top questions in the U.S. were “What fault line is Mexico City on?” and “Where to donate for the earthquake in Mexico?” Those questions were both in the top five searched questions in Mexico City as well, along with “What is needed in the shelters?” and “Where is the school that collapsed from the earthquake?”

From court to screen

Wednesday marked the anniversary of the famed tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and starting today, Emma Stone and Steve Carell portray them on the big screen. The release caused a racket in Search: Interest in “women’s tennis” spiked 140 percent higher than “men’s tennis.” (Game.) Billie Jean King was searched 230 percent more than Bobby Riggs. (Set.) And interest in Emma Stone was 290 percent higher than Steve Carell (match!).

Demagor-gone searching

One a scale from one to Eleven, how excited are you for “Stranger Things” season two? Unless you’ve been trapped in the Upside Down, you know that the show is coming back soon. We’ll help you out with a few of the top-searched questions this week: “When is season 2 of Stranger Things coming out?” (October 27), “Who went missing on Stranger Things?” (RIP Barb), and “How many Emmys did Stranger Things win?” (Zero.) It may have lost to “Handmaid’s Tale” at the Emmy’s, but it’s spooking the competition in other ways—“Stranger Things costume” was searched 1,040 percent more than “Handmaid’s Tale costume” in the last week. There’s only a few weeks to go, so get your Eggos ready.

Will it be a Graceful comeback?

Fans thought they said goodbye to “Will & Grace” in 2006 but now they’re searching, “What time will Will & Grace be on Hulu?” That’s right, the beloved NBC series is making a comeback on Hulu next week (all one hundred and ninety four episodes are now on Hulu as well). Other popular questions include, “How many episodes are there in Will & Grace season 1?” and “Is Leslie Jordan returning to the Will & Grace reboot?” (Karen Walker isn’t happy about that one.) There are a lot of “Will & Grace” lovers in Rhode Island, Iowa and North Dakota, the states that searched the most for the show this week.

Flu fighters

Flu season is around the corner, and people are aching to learn more. Search was congested with lots of queries, but the top ones were: “How long is a flu shot good for?” “How bad is flu season this year?” and “How to stay healthy during flu season? People are searching the most for “stomach flu,” followed by “keto flu.” Top regions searching for “flu season” were Delaware, North Carolina and Louisiana.

Building film experiences through WebVR with Powster

Editor’s Note: When you build with WebVR, anyone can explore VR experiences with Chrome and Daydream View. Ste Thompson is CEO and Creative Director at Powster. In this post for developers, he explains how Powster uses WebVR to create immersive experiences in film environments that reach as wide an audience as possible.

Web-based VR experiences are key to making virtual reality accessible for everyone. Using a standard internet browser with WebVR technology, anyone can visit virtual worlds. At Powster, we’ve been using WebVR to create immersive film experiences. By taking 360º settings from actual movie scenes, we create environments that give audiences a sneak preview of that world.

Powster1
Looking around the WebVR experience

It’s straightforward to create native WebVR experiences on Google Chrome thanks to Google Origin Trials. Native WebVR enables Google Daydream users to access the experience directly inside Daydream View. To do it, we had to set up HTTPS on our server and apply for a token, which provides access to experimental features. We also modified our code to fit the specifications of WebVR; the polyfill is less strict than the native WebVR, especially regarding the way a new frame is requested.

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A sci-fi interface to select showtimes at a movie theater

There’s another way to enable WebVR by using the Google Chrome flags: chrome://flags/#enable-webvr. This is generally more convenient during the development phase of your WebVR project, as you may not have an HTTPS server ready when developing. For the Valerian VR experience, we also updated our copy of Three.js (a 3D JavaScript library ready for WebVR) to the latest stable version in order to be compatible with the WebVR 1.1 specification.

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Viewing the trailer takes you to your own private WebVR cinema

The result is a native WebVR experience that’s fun, immersive and accessible to many. One recent example is STX’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” created in partnership with RealD. For the Valerian experience, you’ll find yourself on board the epic Intruder spaceship, looking out of its massive viewing window where the movie trailer plays. Check it out here.

Driving Manufacturing Productivity through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Samsung is a well-recognized leader in manufacturing operations, possessing innovative infrastructure and production technology, as well as years of accumulated know-how in establishing advanced manufacturing processes. As various industries, including the manufacturing sector, enter into the IoT era, Samsung has joined forces with two highly influential organizations, the OPC Foundation and EdgeX Foundry, to tap into the incredible potential of the application of IoT technologies to manufacturing, termed the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

 

 

 

Interoperability, a Must in the Age of Industry 4.0

Interoperability is a prerequisite for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It refers to the ability in which systems and devices can exchange and interpret data. For Samsung, interoperability stands as a significant challenge in creating a seamless IoT platform which can cut across business domains to improve operational efficiency.

 

This past July, and with the aim to overcome this challenge, Samsung joined one of the world’s longest running and most influential current de-facto Industrial IIoT organizations, the OPC Foundation, founded in 1996, as a core Corporate Member. In specific, the OPC is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space and other industries. It ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. The OPC Foundation oversees the development and maintenance of this standard, and its OPC Unified Architecture (UA), released in 2008, is a platform agnostic, service-oriented architecture that integrates all the functionality of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework.

 

As part of its involvement in the Foundation, Samsung will work together with over 500 industry vendors and software developers to take part in creating a series of specifications for the OPC, and towards the aim to accelerate the deployment of an interoperable IIoT edge platform into its manufacturing infrastructure based on the OPC UA framework.

 

 

Creating an Interoperable Ecosystem

The EdgeX Foundry is another collaborative project that is building an open interoperability framework. Hosted by the influential The Linux Foundation, its purpose is to unify various standards related to IoT edge computing, an innovative method of optimizing cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data. In July, Samsung became a Platinum member of the EdgeX Foundry to support in the building of a common framework for IoT edge computing.

The ecosystem for the Industrial IoT Edge Solution

 

By participating in the EdgeX Foundry, Samsung will receive direct benefit in its emerging efforts in the industrial sector while, at the same time, expanding the market for EdgeX compatible components and devices. Specifically, Samsung will seek to create lightweight edge solutions that can support real-time operations for factories, for example manufacturing equipment utilizing sensors and IoT technologies to enable real-time data collection and analysis, as well as capabilities for self-optimization and autonomous decision-making.

 

 

Boosting Productivity through IIoT   

In addition to Smart Manufacturing, Samsung is exploring various other avenues in IIoT, for example Smart Buildings, Smart Lighting and Smart Energy Management. Through constructive and close cooperation with different industry partners, Samsung is moving one step closer to the achievement of true seamless interoperable IoT services across business domains.

Measure Brand Lift Across TV and Facebook

In the past, comparing ad performance across media platforms has been a challenge for brands. Advertisers have asked us to help them better understand the effectiveness of Facebook ads compared to other forms of advertising—particularly TV ads. Advertisers are also looking for ways to unify metrics and reporting. In fact, 79% of marketers say they would prefer to use one set of metrics across all screens.(1)

Today, we’re introducing new measurement solutions that will enable advertisers to see the impact of their ad campaigns on both Facebook and TV, as well as the incremental impact of both platforms when used together. Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift and Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift both provide advertisers with the ability to evaluate the impact of their campaigns across Facebook and TV.

Two ways to run a cross-platform brand lift study

Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift: Available today, through our partnership with Nielsen, advertisers can interpret their cross-platform results as measured by Nielsen. This solution leverages Nielsen’s expertise in television measurement and its database of television programming to poll for TV ad exposure. Results are delivered independently by Nielsen. Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift is available now for eligible advertisers via their Facebook representative. For a more holistic view of effectiveness advertisers can couple their brand measurement with cross platform reach measurement Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR). TAR and Total Brand Effect give the marketer a read on the relative reach and efficiency of spend across an entire campaign.

The product is currently available in both the US and the UK, and will also be available in Australia by the end of the year.

Results from a Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift Campaign can be found in the section Facebook and TV ads work better together.

Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift: Facebook will offer polling and results from cross-platform brand lift measurement for ads on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. These studies will be available for lower spend minimums than measurement through our partners and will also offer self-serve reporting, including that of Facebook usage during commercial breaks. We are starting to build this solution now, and hope to make it available to advertisers in early 2018.

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This graphic is provided for illustration purposes only. Exact reporting details are subject to change.

Determine brand lift generated by each platform

These cross-platform brand lift solutions combine lift measurement (a measurement of test vs. control), with an opportunity-to-see methodology for determining TV ad exposure. Opportunity-to-see assesses the likelihood that those people were exposed to a given ad by asking those individuals if they have seen certain TV programs in which the ad was aired. After being asked a question that determines whether they viewed certain TV programs in the previous day, individuals are then asked questions to determine their perception of the advertiser’s brand. Comparing lifts in the exposed groups with the unexposed group gives marketers a more complete understanding of how their Facebook and TV ads drive impact independently and together.

 

Optimize your Facebook and TV campaigns using actionable results

At the end of a cross-platform brand lift study, advertisers will get information on lift generated by Facebook alone, lift generated by TV alone and lift generated by Facebook and TV together.

This will help advertisers understand if they are effectively and efficiently engaging their audience on each platform. Using these studies, advertisers will be able to improve future campaign performance by optimizing creative, increasing on-target reach (with Nielsen Total Ad Ratings) and spending their media budget more efficiently across platforms.

Facebook and TV ads work better together

Advertisers are already seeing the value of these brand lift solutions. For example, Shark, a pioneer in small household appliances and cleaning solutions, wanted to understand how TV and Facebook generate brand awareness both together and separately, so they could determine the efficacy and efficiency of their overall advertising strategy.

Shark’s campaign helped establish the effectiveness of a combined TV and Facebook video ad strategy.

From April 24 to June 18, 2017, a Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift study measured this incremental success. The study revealed these results:

  • A 22-point lift in ad recall for TV and Facebook (versus a 6-point lift for TV-only and a 3-point lift for Facebook-only)
  • An 8-point lift in purchase intent for TV and Facebook (versus a 6-point lift for TV-only and a 1-point lift for Facebook-only)
  • A 6-point lift in awareness for TV and Facebook (versus a 3-point lift for TV-only and a 3-point lift for Facebook-only)

 

“We proved that Facebook video ads are a natural complement to TV campaigns. We experienced better brand results among people who saw ads on both versus just TV or Facebook alone. We saw the ‘better together’ impact first-hand. Facebook and TV are powerful individually, but deliver a stronger message to our audience when used in tandem.” —Ajay Kapoor, VP, Digital Transformation & Strategy, SharkNinja

Additionally, our advertising partners, including those who are expanding from digital advertising into cross-media campaigns, have expressed excitement about the opportunity to leverage Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift solution.

“Now that Buzzfeed has begun to diversify our media strategies to include both Television and Digital, having the option to leverage solutions such as Facebook’s Cross-Platform Brand Lift and Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift presents a great opportunity. We look forward to using cross-platform brand lift measurement to both receive valuable insights about our multi-media campaign performance in a single reporting surface, and also to optimize campaign elements such as spend and creative across both platforms.” — Margo Arton, Senior Director of Ad Effectiveness at BuzzFeed

Advertisers now have the opportunity to measure the impact of their Facebook and TV campaigns together using Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift, and we look forward to rolling out the Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift solution in the coming months.

Samsung to Contribute 20 Million Pesos Toward Restoration and Relief Efforts in Earthquake-Affected Areas of Mexico

Samsung Electronics Mexico has announced that it will donate 20 million pesos toward relief and recovery efforts in communities affected by the earthquakes that shook the country on September 7 and 19.

 

The donations will go directly to the Mexican Red Cross, as well as several institutions that are committed to the cause.

 

“Mexico is a strong country that remains standing. We are witnessing a great sense of brotherhood among Mexicans, and Samsung is committed to supporting this cause. We hope that our contribution will help accelerate the rebuilding processes,” said H.S. Jo, President of Samsung Electronics Mexico.

 

With this donation, Samsung Electronics Mexico expresses its sincere support for the Mexican people with the hope that they will recover quickly and remain united during these difficult times.

Cabling across the Atlantic, designing cars with Microsoft HoloLens and pre-ordering Xbox One X – Weekend Reading: Sept. 22 edition

Microsoft was full of interesting news this week, from an innovative, transatlantic project to a Microsoft HoloLens partnership that powers creativity to Xbox and “Minecraft” announcements that make games more fun. Here’s a look.

Man in hard hat adjusts cable on a sandy beach
A worker adjusts the Marea cable on a beach in Spain. Image by RUN Studios.

Microsoft, Facebook and telecommunications infrastructure company Telxius have completed the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic. Called Marea (Spanish for “tide”), the 4,000-mile cable connects from Virginia to Spain, provides up to 160 terabits per second and will make transatlantic connections more resilient.

Dependable infrastructure is crucial for internet and cloud services, but it was the 2012 devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which shut down connectivity services on the East Coast for days, that drove home the need for Marea. The cable is expected to become operational in early 2018.

“Everyone expects that whenever they turn on their computer or their tablet or their phone, they’re going to work,” says Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division. “That’s what this cable is going to help enable.”

Ford announced that it’s expanding its use of Microsoft HoloLens in designing vehicles, after successfully piloting the technology to improve creativity, collaboration and time to market.

The company’s design process has traditionally involved expensive, time-consuming clay models. But HoloLens enables Ford designers to blend 3D holograms with the models and physical production vehicles for easier creativity and faster iterations.

In gaming news, pre-orders for the new Xbox One X console began this week at local retailers around the world, including Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com. More than 130 games, including “Far Cry 5” and “L.A. Noire,” will be enhanced for Xbox One X with higher resolutions and faster framerates to take advantage of the powerful console.

The week’s other big gaming news was the arrival of Better Together, “Minecraft’s” biggest update ever. The update unites players on console, mobile, VR and Windows 10 versions into one Bedrock family. That means it’s time to say goodbye to “Minecraft: Xbox One Edition” and “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition” and hello to a universal “Minecraft.”

When it comes to security, staying ahead of threats is critical. That’s why Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is integrating automated investigation and remediation capabilities from Hexadite, which Microsoft recently acquired.

“This takes enterprise security to a new level, enabling our customers to move faster from device, data and insight to action against modern-day threats,” writes Rob Lefferts, partner director, Windows & Devices Group, Security & Enterprise.

Ever wonder how AI and the cloud help computers learn to read and comprehend natural language? The latest “Explanimators” episode from Microsoft Story Labs explores the world of machine reading – and how it will someday help doctors, lawyers and anyone who needs high-speed access to written, accumulated human knowledge.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading and see you next week!

The post Cabling across the Atlantic, designing cars with Microsoft HoloLens and pre-ordering Xbox One X – Weekend Reading: Sept. 22 edition appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Relive the Moment – Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’ Live in VR with Samsung and Live Nation

 

On August 17, fans from over 50 countries put on their Samsung Gear VR headset to witness the spectacular sights and sounds of Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour,’ live from Soldier Field Stadium, Chicago. The concert’s full 360 VR broadcast gave Samsung Gear VR users around the world an immersive viewing experience that has never been seen before.

 

Samsung’s VR Live Pass project kicked off June 3 at UFC 212, where the highly-anticipated featherweight clash between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway was broadcast live in VR, marking the first live VR broadcast event for Samsung and the UFC. The project continued in July at X Games 2017 in Minneapolis, where adrenaline-filled BMX and skateboarding competitions featuring the likes of Chad Kerley, Jagger Eaton and Jimmy Wilkins were also broadcast live to Gear VR users.

 

Coldplay’s concert in August was the final destination for Samsung’s VR Live Pass project in 2017. Samsung held a number of special viewing events across multiple countries, including Canada, Brazil, and the United States, leading up to the Live Nation concert to help drive user engagement for the momentous event.  

 

At Samsung 837 in New York, Coldplay fans donning Gear VR headsets enjoy an immersive, 360-degree concert experience.

 

Samsung showcased the 360 VR broadcast in locations around the world, including its Galaxy Life Montreal interactive space in Canada.

 

Fans take in the spectacular show while relaxing on the lawn at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles.

 

Coldplay and the Gear VR make for a memorable date for a couple viewing the show at Kinoplex Itaim in São Paulo, Brazil.

 

Samsung’s VR Live Pass marked a special moment in time for the industry, as Gear VR owners were able to strap on their headsets, connect to the Samsung VR app and enjoy world-class entertainment as if they were there in the front row, regardless of their actual physical location.

 

Gear VR users who were unable to catch these events live can still enjoy replays and highlights from them through the Samsung VR app and the Samsung VR website until the end of October 2017.

Celebrating the completion of the most advanced subsea cable across the Atlantic

When it comes to computing, speed matters. So does resiliency. Today, we’re proud to announce the completion of the Marea subsea cable, which is unmatched in its capabilities. Spanish for tide, Marea is a joint project between Microsoft, Facebook and global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius, that helps to upgrade the global internet infrastructure to better meet the rapidly growing demand for internet and cloud services in our increasingly connected world.

Lying more than 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, Marea is the most technologically advanced subsea cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the first cable to connect Virginia and Spain, landing in Virginia Beach and Bilbao.

The value of partnering for success

Recognizing a need for greater resiliency for networks across the Atlantic, Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius pursued the creation of Marea along a route south of existing transatlantic cable systems. Being physically separate from the other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for customers in the United States, Europe and beyond.

The Marea cable’s new “open” design allows it to evolve with technology, ensuring the highest performance for users now and well into the future, even as the global population of internet users grows. And make no mistake, the demand is growing. Just think of the many high-bandwidth applications and content you use today such as Skype and Facebook Live, and the volume of streaming videos, movies and music consumed daily. This ability to interoperate with many different kinds of networking equipment brings significant benefits including lower costs and easier equipment upgrades, leading to faster growth in bandwidth rates.

Completed in less than two years — nearly three times faster than is typical — Marea is a powerful example of the important role the private sector has to play in connecting the world. It also set a new standard for subsea cables because it is designed to meet today’s demand and evolve with the progress of tomorrow, allowing companies offering digital services to be better equipped to handle cross-border internet traffic, which is expected to increase eightfold by 2025.

Rapid growth demands strong investment

At more than 4,000 miles (6,600 kilometers) long and almost 10.25 million pounds (4.65 million kilograms) — or about the weight of 34 blue whales — the Marea cable is a feat of engineering, collaboration and innovation. The cable can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second. That’s more than 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection, making it capable of streaming 71 million high-definition videos simultaneously.

In a time when global economies are deepening their reliance on cloud technologies, and both private and public sectors are embracing the opportunities for growth and improvement through digital transformation, we’re energized by the impact the Marea subsea cable will have on the advancement of cloud computing and digital services. And we look forward to furthering our respective investments in building high-tech infrastructure to better connect our world, foster economic growth and advance technological capabilities.

Learn more about the Marea project

We’re excited to share this technological feat and take some time upon the completion to explore what the cable means for connecting businesses in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the next billion internet users in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

We will livestream the celebration from Williamsburg, Virginia, at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday (recorded playback will be available). Microsoft and our partners will be joined onstage by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. We hope you’ll join us online as well to explore our photos, videos and interactive multimedia features about the construction of the Marea subsea cable.

Enabling the Azure cloud platform

Marea will enhance the Microsoft Cloud, which is supported by one of the largest multi-terabit networks on the planet, through additional capacity and resiliency. As part of Microsoft’s mission to enable every person and organization to achieve more, we continue to grow Microsoft Cloud offerings and build out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to enable ever-faster and even more resilient connections.

That’s why today we’re also announcing Azure Availability Zones, our latest infrastructure service, which increases Azure’s resiliency capabilities, broadens customer options for business continuity and enables customers to deliver highly available applications and cloud services around the world. Learn more on the Microsoft Azure Blog and the Azure site.

Through our global infrastructure, our Azure cloud platform offers the scale needed to bring applications closer to users and customers around the world.

 

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Flagship Microsoft Store planned for Regent Street in London

Crowd outside Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City
Fans celebrate the grand opening of the flagship Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Today, we are pleased to announce plans to open a flagship store in London on Regent Street at Oxford Circus. This is one of the world’s most exciting shopping destinations and represents another step in our journey to meet our customers.

The United Kingdom is home to some of our most passionate fans. We already enjoy connecting through our partners and in our digital stores, and look forward to bringing a physical store to the region as another great choice for customers to experience the best technology from Microsoft.

Investing in more solutions for customers
We are proud to see the impact that our physical stores have on the communities where we operate, from greater confidence in customers who visit in person and then shop online, to our partner ecosystem. Our customer experience in our physical stores generates confidence and trust in our products and services.

Cindy Rose, head of Microsoft in the U.K. and our partner throughout the location selection process, says: “We couldn’t be happier to be opening a flagship store in the heart of central London at Oxford Circus, where two of the world’s most iconic shopping streets meet. We know our customers and fans, whether they are from London, the broader U.K. or just visiting, will love our bold plans for the space. This will be so much more than just a great place to experience all that is possible with Microsoft, but a real hub for the community where we’ll be bringing to life our passion for helping people explore their creativity through an ambitious program of workshops and training along with moments that work to unite the community.”

Connecting one customer at a time
Digital skills are critical in today’s world as the speed and pace of technological innovation accelerates. Microsoft Stores offer free workshops and digital training programs integrated into our daily store schedule so that students, entrepreneurs, educators, families and creators can succeed in the modern workplace. We regularly host opportunities for our customers to discover and learn through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs, including YouthSpark camps where can learn about computer science, take Minecraft coding classes, leverage LinkedIn for business, and participate in Xbox game design sessions.

Microsoft Store is a place to have fun! Our stores are hubs for local gaming communities, where fans gather to play their favorite games like “FIFA” or “Forza” during events or in one of the competitive tournaments in our Mixer NYC Studio. We are excited to extend similar experiences to our customers in London.

Creating opportunity with the local community
Our approach to retail is simple — a complete and quality experience for our customers to interact directly with Microsoft. We enter markets with the goal of strengthening the experience, creating more career opportunities, and contributing to the local community and entire region. We have seen this executed in our flagship locations in New York and Sydney — some of my favorite examples include seeing U.N. Youth Advocates gathered in our store to share their projects and ideas for empowering people in their own cities, towns and villages, or when students joined us from Regional New South Wales to participate in coding and Minecraft events.

Our store stands for the best of Microsoft. We are excited to showcase gaming, mixed reality, AI (artificial intelligence), and all technology that empowers people to achieve more. Look for more details in the future!

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